Our main concern is always for the welfare of animals in our care, and their quality of life.

Sadly, many of the animals who come in to RSPCA WA’s care are coming in as a result of a cruelty complaint. This means, they are often suffering from medical conditions, which require treatment from a veterinarian, or behaviour issues—often as a result of neglect and lack of appropriate socialisation.

RSPCA WA vets have to make some very difficult and sad decisions regarding some of the animals who come into our care. Euthanasia is always a last resort, and considered only once every reasonable effort has been made to treat an animal’s medical condition or behavioural concern.

Where an animal’s quality of life is compromised to the point that their suffering or distress can no longer be alleviated, or if they have demonstrated that they pose a significant risk to themselves, or other animals or people if released into the community, the most humane course of action might be euthanasia.

Decisions around euthanasia are never made lightly. A panel of staff members meets regularly to discuss the animals in care, and to address any concerns about a particular animal’s health or behaviour. In some cases, an external specialist will be consulted as part of the decision-making process to ensure that all reasonable courses of action have been considered.

RSPCA WA staff and volunteers work with these animals every day, trying to help them recover from their ordeals. Having to make the difficult decision about ending an animal’s life has an emotional impact on everyone at RSPCA WA. For many of the animals whose lives end with us, our staff and volunteers may be the only people who’ve ever really shown them love and compassion.